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Man sentenced for hit-and-run

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Driver receives six months in jail; malicious wounding not pursued

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- A town man was sentenced to six months in jail Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court for his involvement in a hit-and-run that left his ex-girlfriend unconscious along Lakeview Drive.

Yovanis Dejesus Ferrufino, 30, of 120 Tower Ave., was charged Jan. 3 with hit-and-run and, among other things, malicious wounding, but only the driving crime advanced to a grand jury. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ryan King said there was an issue with witnesses, especially the victim, who changed her original story that implicated Ferrufino in the incident.

A plea agreement presented to and accepted by Judge Dennis L. Hupp on Wednesday called for the defendant to serve 12 months in jail, with six months suspended, and pay $11,726.12 in restitution to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital. Another six months to serve in jail was added for Ferrufino violating probation as a result of the new charge, giving him a year in jail overall.

According to King, police responded to Lakeview Drive on Dec. 3 for a reported assault. The victim indicated her ex-boyfriend had visited with his son, and the boy played with the woman's daughter. Ferrufino eventually took the woman's cell phone, and she followed him to find him in a car. King said she reached for her phone, Ferrufino grabbed her arm and he started driving.

According to court records, the defendant gunned the accelerator, dragging the victim approximately 90 feet. She was transported to the hospital with tire impression injuries to her left forearm, a laceration to the back of her head and severe abrasions to her left torso, thorax, arm, leg and ankle, records state.

Since giving that original account, King said, the woman changed her story, and no longer wanted to have Ferrufino prosecuted. Commonwealth's Attorney Albert T. Mitchell, who met with the woman and an investigator, said the victim now states that Ferrufino was not driving the car.

Hupp asked Mitchell if there was any indication that the woman had been threatened or intimidated into changing her account of the incident. Mitchell said there was some suspicion, but he did not know for sure. He added that the woman has "not wavered at all" on her latest version of events.

King said Ferrufino provided a statement that matched most of the ex-girlfriend's original story, except for him driving. The defendant added that the woman was drinking and belligerent.

Ferrufino was on probation in December, which he first received after burglary and destruction of property convictions in 2005, and was convicted of third-offense DUI in 2007. At one time there was an issue of domestic instability, a probation officer report states, and Ferrufino was instructed to stay away from his ex-girlfriend.

Hupp added three years of supervised probation upon Ferrufino's release from jail.

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